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Target Takes Historic Step on Toxic Chemicals

New Standard Affects Thousands of Products

Washington, DC – Target, the nation’s third largest retailer, announced today a new “Sustainable Product Standard,” that would rate thousands of cleaners, personal care, beauty and baby care products based on the safety and sustainability of their ingredients. The new system gives the greatest weight to products that avoid a list of slightly more than 100 known toxic chemicals almost identical to the list proposed for retailers by Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families in April.

The announcement comes just one month after Walmart announced it would begin disclosing chemicals in many product categories while phasing out ten chemicals from products it sells in favor of safer alternatives. Both retailers were urged to take action by the Mind the Store campaign, which calls upon them to phase-out toxics the in the products they sell.

Andy Igrejas, executive director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families said:

“No other retailer has agreed to take on as many chemicals as Target. This announcement is historic for its breadth and it will help reshape the U.S. marketplace in favor of safer chemicals.

“By comparison, Walmart chose to go deeper on 10 chemicals, though they have not yet publicly. Their policy is more prescriptive in telling suppliers how to move away from those chemicals toward safer alternatives. The point system that Target has developed with Good Guide combines avoidance of known bad chemicals with increased disclosure for a more indirect pressure but on a much bigger list of problem chemicals. They are both targeting roughly the same mix of product categories.

“The good news is that Target is moving away from the “chemical of the month” model and toward a more proactive policy that begins to approach the scale of the problem. We are all exposed to thousands of chemicals from the products that we bring into our homes, including known toxic chemicals and those that have never been tested for safety. The government isn’t minding the store, so the retailers themselves–and their customers–have to.”